Archive for category Specialty Stitches

The Faerie’s Needle by Michelle Ink

Copyright Michelle D Arsenault, Michelle Ink Needlework Designs, 1997. Distributed by Sitting Pretty Presents.

Faerie’s Needle by Michelle Ink

Chart: As with previous Michelle ink charts, I found a lot of difficulty making sense of the instructions placement on this chart. To start the whole chart pack is hand-drawn on pink paper.  The printed instructions are all in italics.  I’m sure this is quite “cute” but it does not assist in the use of the chart.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitches, fractional stitches, backstitch, Kloster blocks, needleweaving, satin stitch, button-hole stitch, centred doves eyes, cornered doves eyes and woven bars.

Materials: Caron Wildflowers, Caron Waterlilies, Leah #8 perle coton, Leah #12 perle coton, DMC #12 perle coton, Rainbow Gallery Splendor, Rainbow Gallery Nordic Gold, Kreinik, cord, Kreinik blending filament, Gentle Arts Sampler Threads, Needle Necessities floss (now ThreadworX), Mill Hill beads, Access Commodities beads and treasures. Stitched on Wichelt 32ct “China White” (or Platinum) Linen.

Designer’s Notes: “As the wizard’s inkwell tipped and magic spilled from it – so the eye of the faerie’s needle has magic flowing from it. Agnes Rose sits with her golden needle blowing bubbles – sparkling, glittering, magical bubbles. You see – as the wizard has his potions – Agnes Rose has her needles, and in this piece she is taking a moment to amuse herself with a simple child’s game. Each “bubble” has a different hardanger centre.”

Why I was attracted to this design: I’ve started the companion design Wizard’s Inkwell. So I bought this as the next design to do. Wizard’s Inkwell is blues and purples, while this one is greens and oranges. So I thought they would work well together. Also I thought they would be great Hardanger teaching pieces.

So why haven’t I stitched it?  Well I haven’t finished Wizard’s Inkwell yet. I have the same problem with both of these charts as I do with Haunted Hardanger.  Michelle Ink expects a degree of assumed knowledge in her stitchers that I just don’t have.  The  instructions are written as reminders for experienced stitchers familiar with Hardanger and this style of stitching. They are not written as guides for complete novices like me.

Where can you buy it? This Michelle Ink chart can be bought via your LNS or directly from Stitching Pretty Presents for $12.00 (US).

Discussion questions: I really wish designers would provide clearer photos of their designs as cover photos.  I know some may be worried that their design can be copied from a clear photo, but honestly, isn’t a really good photo more helpful to the stitcher and likely to cause more sales?  What are your thoughts?  Please don’t be afraid to disagree with me!

10 July 2012: Haven’t started kitting up.  Need to gird my loins and get back into Wizard’s Inkwell first!


Jardin d’Jour by Needlemania

Copyright Marc Davis, Needlemania, 2007.

Jardin d’Jour by Needlemania

This week seems to be all about red charts!

Chart: This Needlemania chart is printed over four A4/Letter pages with a three-row overlap on successive pages.  It is a monochrome design so the small o symbols are easy to see even though the chart is small. Personally as this is a complicated design, I would have preferred the chart to be a touch larger. I will need to mark off a working copy to help keep my place in this pattern.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitch and Algerian eyelets.

Materials: Anchor variegated stranded cotton. Stitched on Lakeside Linens 32ct “Magnolia” linen.

Designer’s Notes: Special dedication to Diane Jourdan (the d’Jour in the title) for her special assistance in this design.

Why I was attracted to this design: This one appeals to my love of geometric designs.  Also I had known Marc through many online forums and we’d chatted on each others blogs for years so I wanted to support his work as a new designer.

So why haven’t I stitched it? Paralysed by choice yet again. Do I stitch it in the Variegated Garnet on the Magnolia? Do I change threads and fabrics? Do I stitch the cross in one colour, the rosettes in another and the border in a third? Choices, choices, too many choices!

Where can you buy it? Unfortunately since Marc passed away a few years ago, Needlemania charts are not being sold new.  You might be lucky in a LNS that has a lot of older stock. Otherwise try the ubiquitous eBay.  Also comment below if you are interested. I have a funny feeling I *might* have two copies of this chart – I’ll check when the rest of the stash arrives. If I have a second copy I will send it out to someone interested.

Discussion questions: Have you stitched this one?  What fabric/floss combination did you use? Can you provide a link to your WIP or finished project? Otherwise what fabric/floss combination would you use?

Project Status:
9 July 2012: Completely flummoxed on fabric and floss